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Yakbowbw
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650 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was fishing the east side this am and ran into one. We were in heavy brush up to our waist. The snake buzzed us and we backed of. After he stopped making noise I wanted to continue fishing but was not sure which way he had gone in the brush. We turned around and called it a day, we were not having any luck any way. I know we played it safe, how have some of you handled an encounter with Mr.
Rattler?
 

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I hope she likes whitefish
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Use a stick to "escort" him off the trail and continue. Being a resident of the desert, I always PLAN on meeting up with one therefore am always cautious and very deliberate with each step. Just don't become complacent and you shouldn't have a problem. Also, if I know I'm going to be walking in waist high grass, I take a trekking pole to move the grass before I step. A stick would work just a good though...
 

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i used to be nervous about them but after so many encounters i realized they are trying to avoid us as much as we do them. the situation you described is the hardest one where you dont know which way they scooted to so i usually make hard slow step/stomps as to give them my exact location and time to run away.
 

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Language, its a virus
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1,602 Posts
The first person on the trail wakes the snake up.
The second person pisses the snake off.
The third person gets bit.

Don't be number 3 on a desert hike.
 

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previously micro brew
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4,663 Posts
Mike:

Snakes are a fact of life on the dry side. The precautions suggested are good ones and the stick to the front and sides would be a good starting point. The others: avoid heavy brush, rock falls; step up and over logs not just over; don't step in the middle of bushes like sage and rabbit brush. If you think about, the group on this site has logged hundred (thousands) of hours in the desert. I have not heard of one person being struck. I have heard of a dog getting hit on the face over in the Okanogan.

Also, there are other snakes that will mimic rattlesnakes by hitting their tales against dry material - like leaves.

MB
 

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Keep fishing. Rattlesnakes are a part of the game.
I actually get more worried about my springer spaniel than I do myself. but he seems to know as well as I do that they are trouble, and when he runs into one he steers clear.
 

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Skunk Happens
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The other good reason not to wear an iPod while fishing. Once I hear one, I freeze, get a visual, then move on slowly because I always think there will be another one right in my new direction. They can only strike about half of their body length, which is waaaay too close for comfort.

They sure fire up the adrenaline pump when you are walking along enjoying the day letting your mind wander.
 

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Once I see a rattler, I pull the .38 caliber pistol that I carry everywhere (yes I have a permit) and blow it to hell. I carry CCI shotshells in the first chamber when I am in snake country.
 

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Fishin' to the end, Oc.P
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I had a friend, BB, I used to drift the Deschutes river in Oregon with. When ever anyone new came along with us BB would brandish his 38 special and say...This is my rattlesnake gun, it is for the first SOB that thinks they are going to chase or tease me with a rattlesnake....................That said, snake goes one way I go another.
 

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RobGriz,

Why the hell do you do that?
Why the hell not? Maybe you haven't heard but they are poisonous. I grew up in rattlesnake country and I do know people and dogs and horses that have been bit and while I do not know of anyone, other than a 3 year old boy who happened to be playing in his front yard in Great Falls MT, that died from it, everyone else got sicker than I ever care to be (although part of that is probably contributibal to anxiety more than anything) while enjoying the 45 minute ride to town to get some anti-venom and a nice little overnight stay at the hospital under observation. Also had a friend of mines son lose his middle finger when he got bit, killed the tissue. Didn't really bother him, but his girlfriend was pissed. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE where I am from kills rattlesnakes when they see them, cause we got way more than we need in Montana. If you don't know of anyone that has ever been bit by a rattlesnake, than you don't live in rattlesnake country. Bad news too, they don't always buzz their cute little tails before they reach out and show you some love.

You don't have to kill 'em if you don't want too though.
 

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Just an Old Man
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35,199 Posts
You know that ever since I moved to Montana I have been on the lookout for them and have yet to see one. I have seen a garter snake but no rattlers. I must be blessed. Other people have seen them here but not this old boy.

I saw more in Washington that here.
 

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If they're around, don't bring a Yellow Lab. You're fine .. they ??????

Love them, but in some situations .. dumber than a stump unless you have them on lead.

Trust me on this one!
fae
 

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Custom Title
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Why the hell not?
In a word: Hantavirus. We have that on the east side, too & snakes eat deer mice, preferring to use their venom on food. Use caution as described earlier, avoid places snakes might frequent & be difficult to see, & when you do see one . . . avoid it. I've been snake bit (my own fault), have never had Hantavirus, but would rather endure another snake bite given the choice.
 

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Skunk Happens
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If I knew there were snakes on my property and I had young kids, I suppose I would shoot the snakes, or if I planned to eat it. Otherwise, why shoot them?

Just go around them.
 
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Mike:

If you think about, the group on this site has logged hundred (thousands) of hours in the desert. I have not heard of one person being struck.
MB
I'll be the second. Posted something along this line a few weeks back when I had stepped on four of them. Although it only got my boot...

I'm tell'n ya man, get a pair of snow gaiters that come up to your knees. The heavy duty ones. The snakes no longer become an issue.
 
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